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Matthew A. Johnston

Poet | Performer | Educator


M.Ed    Temple University, Secondary Education          Anticipated completion: May 2022

             Accelerated Program (in progress)

BA         Temple University, English Literature     Anticipated completion: May 2021

  • Completed Basic & Advanced Creative Writing courses for Poetry
  • Completed a Poetic Ethnography course which incorporated performance
  • Completed poetry projects in each course with original work

Creative Experience

President | Artistic Director | General Body Member, Babel Poetry Collective (September 2018 – present)

  • Began as a general body member before taking on the Artistic Director role in my second year, then becoming President of the collective in 2020
  • As President: Responsible for overseeing the entire executive board, maintaining a cohesive nature to the work done, and leading executive board meetings
  • As Artistic Director: Responsible for planning content and choreography for the organization’s shows and performances; offers feedback, designs exercises, and assigns writing topics during the weekly general body meeting
  • Take part in writing and performing for the organization’s events as well as outside gigs

Poet Mentor/Program Facilitator, The Chewstick Foundation (January 2013 – June 2017)

  • Helped to develop & revamp the youth poetry program
  • Developed workshops, writing exercises & lesson plans to deliver to writers
  • Helped to develop performance & writing skills
  • Mentored the young writers & provided a positive example to help guide them
  • Done an extensive amount of volunteer work for the organization throughout the community in multiple aspects which involved physical labor as well as helping with event planning.

Exhibited/Published Work

  • Charman Prize (Masterworks, film/poetry, 2015)
    • A short film entitled Holding Up An Illusion.
    • A collaboration with Rohan Shastri & Calix Smith
  • Things UnSpoken (Bermuda Society of Arts, film/poetry, 2016)
    • A short film entitled Lost Sleep.
    • A collaboration with filmmaker Kyle Simmons
  • Emerging Artists Showcase (Bermuda Society of Arts, installation art, 2017)
    • A visual art piece entitled Elegy
    • A collaboration with visual artist Michael Walsh
  • “Atlantic Songs” published on
    • Result of winning Temple’s Albert J Caplan Poetry Prize

Notable poetry honors/endeavors:

  • Brave New Voices Festival participant for the first-ever Bermuda slam poetry team (Berkeley, California, 2012)
  • Named as one of “3 Spoken Word Poets That Are Keeping Bermuda Soulful” by Bermuda Yellow Pages (2014)
  • Brave New Voices Festival assistant slam poetry coach for the Bermuda team (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 2014)
  • Interviewee/performer on Channel 82 Bermuda’s “Backstage with Mr. Magic” (Bermuda, 2015)
  • Participant in Bermuda’s Dept. of Community & Cultural Affairs’ Writer in Residence Programme Poetry Workshop 2015 with Christian Campbell (Bermuda, 2015)
  • Charman Prize winner (Judge’s Choice Award) (Masterworks Bermuda, 2015)
  • Poem painted on steps on Chancery Lane, Bermuda as part of the Chewstick Community Art Program (2015)
  • Guest poetry workshop facilitator for the Center for Talented Youth Bermuda (2016 & 2017)
  • Featured in Temple’s Best of Undergraduate Acting Showcase for a poem and video entitled, “You Drowned Before the Ocean Left You” done in Poetic Ethnography course (2020)
  • Winner of the Albert J Caplan Poetry Award at Temple (2020)
    • Poem entitled “Atlantic Songs” published on as a result

Notable performances

  • Opening act for Denice Frohman at The Chewstick Foundation (Bermuda, 2013)
  • Performer with The Chewstick Foundation’s Prison Outreach program at Westgate Correctional Facility (Bermuda, 2015)
  • Performer at The Chewstick Foundation’s 11th Anniversary Show (Bermuda, 2015)
  • Performer (opening act) at Taylor Rankin’s Leroyfest (Bermuda, 2016)
  • Performer at Bermuda’s Department of Community and Cultural Affairs’ Seniors Tea (2016)
  • Performer at Babel Poetry Collective’s Babylon: Rapture show at Temple University (Philadelphia, PA, 2018)
  • Performer and Host for Temple Libraries event, “Babel Poetry Collective Presents Philadelphia Youth Poet Laureates” featuring former Philadelphia Youth Poet Laureates Husnaa Hashim and Wes Matthews (2019)
  • Performer at Immigrant Diaries event at Temple University (Philadelphia, PA, 2019)
  • Performer at Green Soul’s Valentine’s Day Weekend event (Philadelphia, PA, 2020)
  • Performer for Bermuda’s Department of Community and Cultural Affairs’ Afterall virtual poetry event (2020)